George Larrick, American Chamber of Horrors - stock photo
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George Larrick, American Chamber of Horrors

Larrick was responsible for assembling an exhibit, dubbed by reporters an "American Chamber of Horrors," which effectively documented the need for what became the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The exhibit was credited with helping to persuade Congressional wives, in particular, to seek their husbands' support for passage of the new federal law, under which the agency still operates. George Larrick (November 19, 1901 - August 13, 1968). In 1923, he accepted a temporary job as a food and drug inspector in Cincinnati. Fascinated with the work, he abandoned his medical aspirations, and successfully passed the competitive Civil Service exam for a permanent appointment. He was the last investigator to rise through the ranks to become Commissioner (1954-1965). He was noted for his ability to maintain good relations with Congress and major amendments began to transform the 1938 Act from a primarily punitive law to one designed to assure consumer protection by preventing violations. During Larrick's administration, however, the FDA came under strong criticism from some members of Congress. He retired from active service in 1965, but became a consultant on food and drug law and administration. He died in 1968 at the age of 66.

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